The joy of becoming parents for the first time is unlike any. Parents getting to hold their babies and loving them is an experience they have never felt before. However, being a new parent can be overwhelming, as taking care of your newborn can be stressful.
Most new parents will take time to understand how to care for their baby’s health, which is completely normal. However, many parents can find it devastating if their newborns suffer from health issues. Infants are prone to infections and health concerns as their immune system is still maturing.
Therefore, parents should know about common health issues to effectively take care of and nurture their baby back to good health in their time of need. Hence, the following are the common health issues that every parent should know and how to manage them.
Jaundice is a health condition where the child’s skin and eyes can turn mildly yellow because of increased bilirubin in their blood. It is a common disease in newborns delivered before 38 weeks.
The most common cause is not developed enough to free the bloodstream from bilirubin. In some cases, jaundice and underlying conditions might be the cause.
The condition is quite common, and parents can treat it at home. However, jaundice can become a birth injury if it is not treated correctly and timely by a medical professional. 1 in 20 newborns will need urgent medical assistance to treat jaundice. If health professionals do not provide effective care for severe jaundice, it can lead to serious conditions such causing deafness and brain damage like kernicterus and cerebral palsy.
If your child had severe jaundice that led to cerebral palsy due to medical negligence, then you should join support groups, as they can benefit you in many ways. You can learn your legal options for the birth injury, such as financial compensation, legal trial, or settlement. Moreover, through these support groups, you meet parents who share the same trauma as you. Parents can garner effective health advice and learn valuable insight into their child’s injury, such as potential treatments. It will alleviate stress and offer much-needed emotional support.
The best way to combat jaundice is by feeding your newborn adequately. If a child is breastfed, they should have at least eight to twelve feedings for the first few days of their life. On the other hand, formula-fed newborns require one to two ounces of milk after every two to three hours of feed in their first week.
Colic is another health condition that is common in infants and is a condition that causes babies to cry for a long time without any apparent reason. There is still no clear cause for this health issue. Yet, many experts believe it is due to various reasons, such as gas build-up, food intolerances or allergies, or the development of the digestive system.
It is a condition that makes the first few weeks with a newborn difficult for parents as they cannot narrow down the cause behind the baby’s crying. Colic mostly happens to babies around their second week of life and is usually gone when they turn three months old. If the baby’s crying persists, it is most probably because the baby is intolerant to the milk formula parents are feeding or because there is an underlying condition that doctors need to address.
The primary goal for parents whose child is suffering from colic is to soothe them through various measures. Many will have to try new things, and experiments as not every measure will work on your child. However, parents can relieve their children in many ways, such as using a pacifier or a warm bath.
Other effective ways include taking the baby out for a car ride or strolling them in the park. Moreover, rubbing the newborn’s tummy and or back also provides relief. In addition, playing light soothing music and dimming the lights also works well.
Ear infection, also known as otitis media, is a condition typical in newborns that causes discomfort. The health issue involves infection in the area behind the baby’s eardrum. Infection is caused by fluid buildup behind the eardrum due to bacteria or viruses.
Infants can show signs of infection by pulling or tugging their ears. They will also be crying and irritated. Symptoms include difficulty sleeping, fever, loss of appetite, diarrhea, fluid coming from the ear, and difficulty hearing.
Most Doctors recommend antibiotics for ear infections like amoxicillin. The medication’s course will be seven or ten days. With antibiotics, doctors will recommend giving pain relievers to the baby, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and ear drops, as they will relieve fever and discomfort. Parents should avoid giving babies aspirin as it is not suitable for them unless the doctor has allowed it.
After giving medication, your child’s health will improve in a few days. However, parents should remember that even if the infection clears, some fluid may stay in the ear but will go away in three to six weeks.
New parents in their initial stages with their baby are still learning about diapering basics and how to manage it.
A newborn’s skin is soft and delicate. Hence moist or dirty diapers can quickly cause rashes. These rashes can cause a lot of irritation and discomfort, resulting in crying from babies.
There are many causes of nappy rashes, such as the baby’s bottom being in contact with a dirty diaper. Other reasons include the nappy rubbing against the baby’s skin or not cleaning the baby’s genital areas and bottom thoroughly. In addition, other factors that contribute are using alcohol-based wipes, washing the newborn’s nappies with an irritable soap or detergent, or not changing the baby’s nappy enough times.
It is easy to treat nappy rashes at home. The best way to manage rashes is by changing dirty or wet diapers as frequently as possible. Parents should use water while cleaning the baby’s genitals and wash it properly. Moreover, using alcohol-free and fragrance-free wipes is essential. Parents should gently dry the baby’s skin after washing them and putting on the nappy. The rashes are persistent, then doctors will recommend nappy rash cream. Before every nappy change, put a thick layer of the cream. Lastly, take off the diaper every day for a few days.
Caring for your baby can be rewarding; seeing them comfortable and happy warms your heart. However, managing your baby’s health as a new parent can be equally stressful and confusing. In addition, new parents can build guilt as they feel their care lacks maturity, especially if their child has developed a health condition early on.
Parents should not feel bad as they are on a beautiful journey and will learn to address their baby’s health issues. It is important for them to be aware of common health concerns such as colic, jaundice, nappy rashes, and ear infections to manage their baby’s health problems better.